April 2017
Shifting From Parts to Patterns
By John Fullerton

I had the pleasure of hearing my friend Nora Bateson speak last week at The Players Club in New York City where she held a reading and conversation around her recently published book, Small Arcs of Larger Circles: Framing Through Other Patterns.

If that title slows you down a bit, well, I think that's the point. The book is a collection of essays and poems, and the conversation with Nora included personal stories of growing up in the Bateson household (Nora's father was the pre-eminent systems scientist and anthropologist Gregory Bateson, whose first marriage was to Margaret Mead. Nora's grandfather William, was a biologist who coined the term genetics.)

Collectively, the passages in Nora's book draw us into a state of heightened curiosity that leads us to question how we perceive reality, ultimately enabling us to better understand our world and the challenges accelerating all around us. She invites us to probe the profound difference between our now four-hundred-year-old reductionist way of thinking (which is rooted in the Scientific Revolution), and the demands and mystery of a more accurate, complex living systems view of the world. Critical to the understanding of this more accurate world view is Nora's enigmatic assertion, itself an invitation to the most important conversation we could be having:

The opposite of complexity is not simplicity; it is reductionism.


The Redd on Salmon Street
By Susan Arterian Chang

Food halls housed in repurposed warehouses are now part of the fabric of the urban landscape.  Most of them are based on a business model that capitalizes on affluent city and suburbs dwellers' romance with the locavore, farm-to-table movement and with niche culinary experiences. 

The Redd on Salmon Street - located in the Central Eastside industrial district of Portland, Oregon - is a food project of an entirely different order, with a much more inclusive and wildly ambitious mission: to make regeneratively produced, locally sourced food a mainstay of the regional diet.  

Today, if you shop in a big box grocery store, or dine in a corporate cafeteria or in most restaurants, your meals are invariably sourced from the industrial agriculture pipeline. "We want to invert that whole system," explains Amanda Oborne, Vice President of Ecotrust's Food & Farms program and architect of the Redd's mission.  "We want it to be viable for every individual and institution-from a transaction cost, distribution, and business perspective-to be able to buy from a network of hundreds of small-  and medium-sized local producers, not just from the global industrial ag commodity system."

Speaking Engagements
May 15-17 | Boulder, CO:
What We're Reading

by Nora Bateson

Bateson delivers a critical work that serves as an update to our thinking about systems, ecosystems, and complexity.

You May Also Enjoy:

The Unifying American Story - David Brooks, NYT

Quote of the Month
"All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions."

- Leonardo Da Vinci
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